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Kyrgyz Operator Revenues Up 15% in 2012

Wednesday 6 February 2013

(telecompaper) – Revenues of Kyrgyzstan telecommunications operators grew by 15% year-on-year in 2012, reports Tazabek citing information from the State Communications Agency. The market totalled KGS 22.064 bln, with 312 operators providing telecommunication services across the country. Capital expenditure of operators dropped by 20.7%, to US $54.4 mln. Fixed telephony subscribers reached 494,000 in Kyrgyzstan, versus a mobile subscribers base of 6.325 mln.

According to Budde.com, the telecommunications sector in Kyrgyzstan is characterised by an open market that has welcomed both foreign and domestic investors. This has been effectively done in accordance with the requirements set down by the WTO. Under the terms of the country’s accession to the WTO (which took place in 1998), full liberalisation of the telecoms market had been expected to be achieved by end-2006. According to the ITU, Kyrgyzstan had implemented full competition across all segments of its telecoms sector by 2007.

Nevertheless, despite the market being fully competitive there remains mare to be done on the regulatory front to take full advantage of the reforms now in place. There also remains a culture of poor transparency in some aspects of corporate behaviour; this needs to be addressed if the telecom market is to reach its full potential.

Private operators, which actively operate in the mobile market and in the provision of internet services, have been investing in the necessary infrastructure. The two big GSM operators – Sky Mobile (Beeline) and MegaCom – have continued to dominate the market, claiming around 85% of the total mobile subscriber base between them. Since the first GSM network was launched in 1998, the number of mobile subscribers has grown rapidly from a few thousand in 1999 to around six million by early 2013. By this stage mobile penetration was around 110%. Growth in the country’s mobile market was continuing to moderate compared with the general growth in recent years. It was likely that the next few years will see annual expansions of less than 10%. With positive indications that the market will continue to steadily expand for some time yet, there is growing interest in the development of mobile broadband and data services.

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